24 May 2019 11:37

Yukos case defendant Ivlev sentenced in absentia to 10 years for 1-trln-ruble embezzlement

MOSCOW. May 24 (Interfax) - The Moscow Khamovnichesky District Court has sentenced in absentia Pavel Ivlev, former deputy managing partner of the ALM Feldmans legal firm, to ten years in a penitentiary as part of the case of over 1-trillion-ruble oil embezzlement, an Interfax correspondent reported from the courtroom.

"Ivlev is sentenced to ten years in a penitentiary," Judge Marina Syrova said.

All the court pronounced was the judicial disposition, since materials in the proceeding contained numerous financial documents.

Ivlev left Russia for the United States, and the trial was held in absentia. His term will start on the day of his incarceration.

Ivlev's lawyer Sergei Kupreichenko told Interfax they would challenge the sentence. "The court did not establish circumstances refuting Ivlev's innocence," he said.

The court found Ivlev guilty of embezzlement and money laundering and disqualified him as a lawyer for three years upon serving the sentence.

According to materials in the proceeding, Ivlev conspired with an organized group led by former Yukos CEO Mikhail Khodorkovsky in 2001-2002 to embezzle over 195 million tonnes of crude owned by Yukos's subsidiaries JSC Yuganskneftegaz, JSC Samaraneftegaz, and JSC Tomskneft VNK with a value totaling 1.067 trillion rubles. About 133 billion rubles were laundered.

Investigators established that the organized group bought oil from refineries at the cost price and sold it at much higher prices. The deals were formalized on paper via companies registered in tax havens, excess profit was accumulated in companies' accounts, transferred to offshore zones, and legalized as dividends of Cypriot founders, Dansley Limited and Nassaubridge Management Limited controlled by the organized group.

Investigators also established that Ivlev, just like other Yukos's lawyers, provided legal support and appearance of legally clean transactions.

Three subsidiaries filed for being reimbursed in the embezzlement case against former Yukos executives and employees. JSC Yuganskneftegaz sought compensation of 228.98 billion rubles, JSC Samaraneftegaz - 77 billion rubles, and JSC Tomskneft - 93 billion rubles. Later on, PJSC Rosneft, the legal successor of the subsidiaries, was designated as the aggrieved party and reaffirmed the claims of 2005 and 2006 in 2018.

The court upheld Rosneft's claim and initiated a civil law procedure.